self pitying whining crap. beware.
Here's my question for the evening: what makes a geek, a geek? What is it, exactly, that gets you entrance into this peculiar little world?
And, I suppose my true question is…why am I in it?
I ask myself this sometimes, and tonight after Heather and Jess visited, I've really been asking myself those questions. It's sometimes difficult for me to listen to the wondergeeks talk about what they're doing with their lives, because I always feel that in comparison, my life comes up lacking.
This, I think, is because I'm torn between what I'm good at doing, and what I feel that I should be doing. The two aren't the same, and I know it.
I'll spare you the pity party. Essentially, I'm a web designer—and I'm a pretty decent one. I specialize in the front end of things—making them work, making them usable. I know what works, what doesn't, and how to convert the latter to the former. This, in the eyes of 95% of the viewing public, makes me about as geeky as they come.
But I know better.
I don't like working with the guts of things as much. I can program if I want to. But, secretly, truthfully, I don't want to. I feel like I should—I know that there's more money in it, I know that I'd garner more respect from my peers, and I know that I'd have a better chance of getting future jobs if I did.
But I don't want to. I don't gravitate to this stuff like I do a neat graphical trick or a good layout. I can't explain why, and I can't even come up with a good reason for why I don't want to code. I just don't. Some of my friends eat, sleep, and breathe code, and I find myself thinking that I need to leave coding to those to whom it is sacrosanct.
At heart, I'm still a creator. I put things together. I design. I write. I will have lower salaries and fewer job prospects because of it, but I can handle that. I think what bothers me the most about this is that I perceive that I have less respect among my peers. Hwoever, when I think seriously about it, I know that that's probably not the case. It's me feeling insecure about my choices and feeling that I have to justify them to others.
So if I don't want to do geek things, why am I geeky? Is it because I relate and understand? Is it because I can dip into their world yet go back into The Nongeeky World and manage to talk to the natives and make them understand what needs to be done and why it has to be done in a certain way?
I don't flatter myself—my culinary skills aren't THAT good.
I sometimes think I've experienced life a little too fast. College at sixteen, married at twenty-one, a homeowner at twenty-two and … now what? Time, I think, to catch up on all the things I didn't do or see before. I've spent a good portion of my life trying to reconcile the fact that I had the knowledge and self-possession of an adult without having the years or the life experiences to back those things up and make them valid.
I've been a child in child's clothes, speaking as an adult and desperately wishing to be perceived as one. I see so many parallels between that and what I'm struggling with now—being lumped in with a culture that I'm not sure I belong in.
I'm trying to learn how to make my own safespace. Doing so would do wonders for my peace of mind.
Meanwhile, I'll get up in the morning and go play the geek. Luckily, I play it well.
Oh—since Jeff shut down web access to our linux server here in the house, I've had to move some of my files over here. If you go to my reading pages you can browse through my reading lists. I've got other things like trip pictures and cat pictures that I need to move over, but that's going to take a while longer.
Carry on, useful reader, and thanks for letting me get that one off my chest.